We have arrived at the end of a very busy year- and what a fantastic one it has been!

Transition has been a key theme in recent weeks. On July 10th – 12th inclusive our new soon to be year 7 students spent three days with us experiencing life at The Holgate Academy. They had a great time and had the opportunity to meet their teachers, make new friends and experience a range of curriculum areas. They arrived in school on the first day full of worry and trepidation but by the end of day two they all left with beaming smiles on their faces, keen to return in September. They look set to be a great year group!

Our new Accelerated Learning room will be fully refurbished by the start of next term. This has all been possible because of a very generation donation from Tomlinson’s who upgraded the décor and IKEA who donated a range of furnishings – this will provide an excellent learning base for Ms Davies and Ms Chumun to work with some of our upcoming year 7 students.

As we plan for the new arrivals we have to say goodbye to our year 11 students. As they finish their GCSE exams and await their results on 24th August we must bid some of them farewell and good luck with their future lives. However, I am pleased to say that many of these young people have chosen to return to further education at the Hucknall Sixth Form Centre where they will continue their educational journey with our support. Part of celebrating the end of Key Stage 4 is the annual prom. This was held at Eastwood Hall and it was great to see everyone in formal dress celebrating their success – thank you to Mrs. Colman for organising this event.

The new prefects have now been recruited and have made an excellent start in supporting the students and staff at Holgate. This year we have a change of role title and instead of Head boy and girl we have our first Ambassadors: Kasie Renforth and Freyja Dunstan. I am confident they will both be a real asset to the academy next year and look forward to working with them.

Our annual Celebration of Achievement event usually takes place in July.  This year we have taken the decision to move this to 13th September as we feel this will give it a higher profile as well as a positive start to the new academic year, allowing students and parents to focus on success! Our awards will centre on our “Pledges”. Faculty, subject and house leaders will present the awards to our worthy winners whilst parents and carers will be invited along to applaud their efforts – this will be a great celebration!  More information will follow at the start of next term.

On 19th July year 10 took part in a Skills Day when outside providers came into the academy to work with our young people preparing them for the world of work. Students experienced working with Rolls Royce providing a STEM challenge, J. Tomlinson leading on construction activities, hospitality and motor vehicle from West Notts College and Performing Arts from Nottingham College to name but a few – a great range of providers and brilliant activities! All thanks to the successful organisation from Mrs. McKenna and Mrs. Pearson!

19th  July was also our Rewards Trips and Visits Day.  Students and staff visited a range of venues including the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Drayton Manor Park, Water world, and Cinema and Bowling in Nottingham.  The weather was hot and the students had a brilliant time. It was  great to see the students being rewarded for working hard and receiving positive points throughout the year. Students who achieved points but chose not to attend a trip had the opportunity to celebrate by opting for an activity in school.

So we must start to think of the next academic year.  I know many of you will be purchasing new uniform over the holiday period – can I ask that you look carefully at the uniform requirements on the policy page of our website. We have purposefully not gone with expensive bespoke trousers that have the school badge on them; however, trousers are to be formal black bootleg or straight leg. Footwear– a plain black formal shoes should be worn daily. These items are non-negotiable.

Mobile phones:  As of 1st Sept 2018 a phone ban will be implemented on the site for all students. Thank you in anticipation of your support with these changes.

Rationale for changes made to the policy for 2018-19: The debate about access to mobile phones in schools is ongoing in the UK, where more than 90% of teenagers have mobiles. A recent study by the London School of Economics found that in schools where mobiles were banned, the test scores of 16-year-olds improved by 6.4% – the equivalent of adding five days to the school year. There has also been ongoing misuse of mobile devices by a number of students during the academic year 2017-18.

Management of phones on site

  • On site is defined as main gates at Hillcrest and Nabbs and the smaller gates to the rear of Nabbs.
  • Health & Safety/ Safeguarding – to support parental concerns in relation to students travelling to and from school students will be able to have a mobile phone but it MUST BE turned off and placed in their bag (not on their person or in a pocket). The phone is not permitted to be out and visible on site- even at social times!  Please note- “If we see it, or hear it, you lose it.”
  • Educational usage- at times we acknowledge that mobile phones and electronic devices can be used as a learning tool – if this is required as part of a lesson the teacher will clearly indicate that students are given permission to use their phone for example making a record of homework. At the end of this session the phone must be turned off and placed in the student’s bag- not put in a pocket or on your person.
  • On leaving the site (at the end of the day) mobile phones should not be visible until the student has exited the main gates at Hillcrest /Nabbs / the smaller gates to the rear of Nabbs.

Students return to school for the new term on Tuesday 4th September – please ensure your child arrives on time and in full uniform ready to learn with a bag and basic equipment.

I would like to end this blog by thanking all parents and carers for your ongoing support. I look forward to working with you and your children next year – let’s have a great one!

Ms Forsey